The weather last weekend was looking good so a friend and I decided on a 2 night trip to the (mostly snow-free) east side of the Olympics.
We started at the (very crowded) upper Mt. Townsend TH and made our way up to Mount Townsend. We had awesome views from the top. In fact we could see all 5 WA volcanoes! The walk atop dirty face ridge was also beautiful, especially as sunset came.
We made it down to the Silver Creek Shelter in the dark and had a somewhat chilly night.
The next morning we woke just before sunrise and started a 3 mile road walk down to the Dungeness River TH. We started to make our way up the ridge separating the Dungeness valley and Royal basin. Before we left we weren't sure how annoying this would be with potential snow, but there was no snow so only the trees annoyed us. When we got to point 6626 below North Petunia, we noticed a nice tarn to the west.
After walking down to check it out, we headed west up to the ridge and eventually to North Petunia peak above Goat Lake. Heading up to that point on icy rocks was probably the most annoying part of the trip.
The view from the top was incredible.
We then headed down to goat lake on some scree. The trail down from Goat Lake to the Dungeness river was obvious but steep and icy. There were some very nice ice formations to look at.
After crossing the Dungeness on a downed log, we made our way up to Boulder Shelter.
We woke up early in the morning to explore Charlia Lakes. The sunrise colors on the way up were nice.
And the views on the saddle above Charlia were amazing with frozen Upper Charlia and Glacier peak rising above the sound in the back.
We kept walking up the ridge to the west of Charlia lakes. The views were amazing in every direction.
We then made our way back to Boulder Shelter, up to Marmot pass, and on to Buckhorn. It was a very clear day and again we were able to see all 5 volcanoes! Here's three of them:
And here's Baker and Glacier over the sound!
The views to the southwest were amazing as we were growing used to.
Walking down from Buckhorn was also nice.
We began walking north along the ridge to the west of Buckhorn, towards the Tubal Cain trail. We saw this tarn below Buckhorn (is this copper lake or something? The copper creek runs off of it).
Our next goal was Silver Lake. We came down the Tubal Cain trail and crossed Copper Creek. There were some nice ice structures down there!
(Thanks Google, for the colors).
We passed the plane crash and continued to head up Tull Canyon to reach the ridge at ~6000 ft. From there we headed down to Silver Lake on more icy rock (not fun).
Upper Silver Lake was completely frozen over. It was a very serene setting.
We continued along the Silver Lake drainage and up to Camp Windy and out the Upper Mt. Townsend TH. Here's the last cool ice picture I have.
Overall it was a great trip. The off trail wasn't bad and we didn't encounter much snow. Very nice to be able to do something like this in November!
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